Belly of the Whale

To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved. – George MacDonald

Have you ever noticed that when best friends get together, they tend to act and even sound alike? It’s often described as ‘chemistry’ or ‘a positive vibe’, but there’s a simple evolutionary mechanism behind the phenomenon.  Behavioral research show that mirroring and matching—copying other people’s body language, mannerisms, and repeating their words— helps build trust and establishes rapport.  Charismatic people who are masterful in the art of developing rapport do this instinctively, but matching and mirroring can be learned and is a skill that you can cultivate, hone, and use over a lifetime to improve relationships in every aspect of your life.

Mirroring and matching are techniques widely used in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, an interpersonal communication model created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s.  The idea is that people feel most…

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